Ma, me & mangoes” – Episode 25 (If weeds are growing then the land is fertile)
(Yesterday, I was having lunch and my mother was across the table)
Mother: Chinmay, what are you thinking?
Mother: Really? I can see it on your face that you are thinking something.
Me: hmm… I am thinking about a participant who recently attended one of my webinars. He shared with me after the webinar about a substantial investment he has made in a new venture. But with weekend curfews that might continue all of this month and maybe a lockdown in February, he will be making a significant loss.
Mother: oh… has he already made the investment?
Mother: how much?
Me: sorry, I cannot disclose that.
Mother: ok… why didn’t you warn him before?
Me: I only met him during the last webinar. He had already made the investment. He said he wished attending my webinar before making the investment so that he wouldn’t have taken the gambler approach whilst making the investment. Instead, he would have mitigated the risk and have plan-b and plan-c in the pipeline.
Mother: So, what is he planning to do?
Me: he is too stressed and is caught up in the negative vicious cycle.
Mother: oh… what advice will you be giving?
Me: as you know, I don’t give advice. I believe people are smarter than me when it comes to their business. I only aim to create an environment for them to look at things from different perspectives and of course make them understand the real problem, and then accordingly make decisions after analysing the relevant numbers.
Mother: by giving a pep talk?
Me: kind of… through a story.
Mother: what story?
Me: Do you remember I used to regularly meet Manju Maharaj (Swami Swatmaramananda) at the Ramakrishna Ashram in Chamrajpet before going to Australia.
Mother: yes, you started going there during your engineering day back in 2004 or so, right?
Me: yes, somewhere around that time.
Mother: But you said Maharaj is in South Africa these days.
Me: Correct, however, currently he is in India. He came during the Xmas holidays but is kind of stuck here because of the travel restrictions.
Mother: oh… last week when you said you spoke with Maharaj I thought it was online.
Me: No, I met Manju Maharaj in person after a while.
Anyways, I still remember an incident during one of our conversations that happened 15 years ago.
I was in my early 20s, you know how arrogant and adamant I was back then. For some reason, I was frustrated with something and I went to the ashram to meet Maharaj.
Maharaj: Putta (Maharaj calls me Putta), how are you? What happened?
Me: Maharaj, I am trying to be positive and hoping for the best but somehow because of some situation or people I get negative thoughts and my mood gets upset that in turn leads to another unproductive day with stress and tension.
I am not sure how to get rid of these negative thoughts!
Maharaj: (with his evergreen calm smile) Putta, have you seen the garden behind this hostel building?
(those days Maharaj was in charge of the boy’s hostel that provided free accommodation and food to over 180 students)
Me: yes Maharaj, I have seen it.
Maharaj: a few years ago there was no garden. We had some plants, grass, and weeds that were growing by themselves. And I used to get those weeds cut on a regular basis as it had become a good habitat for snakes.
Sometimes we had spotted snakes very close to the hostel that used to scare our hostel boys.
Me: oh… I did not know that.
Maharaj: I was spending money on people to cut those weeds. That is when I decided to do something about this issue and started reading books on gardening.
I came across a sentence that said, “if weeds are growing in your garden, it means the land is fertile.”
I immediately called the gardeners and asked them to not only cut the weeds but also to cultivate a garden with flower plants and vegetables.
Now that we have the garden, we are saving money by not buying all the flowers and vegetables from the market. The money we are saving is sufficient to pay the gardeners.
Me: very interesting…
Maharaj: (looking straight in my eyes) Putta, if weeds are growing in your garden, it means the land is fertile.
(he repeated pointing his finger to his head), if weeds are growing in your garden, it means the land is fertile.
So putta, if negative thoughts are popping up in your head, it means…
Me: it is fertile. I now better understand Swami Vivekananda’s saying, “You’re the creator of your own destiny.”
(back to my conversation with my mother)
Mother: you are fortunate to have people like Maharaj in your life.
Me: I know… I am very lucky and fortunate. I believe by consciously protecting my mind as a beautiful garden I am able to attract all my mentors, gurus, well-wishers, and masters.
Mother: so, you will be sharing this story with your webinar client of yours?
Mother: I hope that he will change and will come out of the situation.
Me: hmm… it’s up to him.
To all business owners and professionals out there, I understand we are all living in a VUCA world i.e Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity & Ambiguity. The question I believe is not when we will get out of this VUCA situation but what is coming out from us because of the VUCA?
Remember, what grows is what we focus on because the land is fertile!
#business #focus #financialdecision #money #numbers #financemanagement #bottomline #financeacademy #chinmayananda.com
Today, 12th January is the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda and is celebrated as International Youth Day.
One of my favorite quotes of Swami Vivekananda is,
“The old religions said that he was an atheist who did not believe in God. The new religion says that he is an atheist who does not believe in himself.”
What’s your favorite Swami Vivekananda quote?